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Non-Agenda Reports January 19, 2017

By City Staff

Please find attached the following two reports from the January 19, 2017 Non-Agenda Package, regarding recent media coverage on these matters:

  • January 19, 2017 Non-Agenda Report: City Hall Renovations
  • January 19, 2017 Non-Agenda Report: Crossing Guard Update

SUBJECT: City Hall Renovations

On January 17, 2017, CTV News did a story on the renovations at City Hall. The story involved an interview with a citizen who gave her opinion that the public was not fully informed of the costs because the budget did not include taxes. She stated taxes would bring the budget of $75,000
closer to $97,000 and suggested the security system would be extra. 

Staff were not asked by CTV for factual information concerning costs. The purpose of this report is to advise Council that the project is currently on budget.

HST on the budget of $75,000 set by Council comes to $9,750; however, it is largely irrelevant as most of it is refunded to the City and thus, with the exception of the non-refundable portion, does not form part of any City budget. In addition, I can advise that the security system being installed
within City Hall is included in this budget.


SUBJECT: Crossing Guard Update

The ‘School Crossing Guard Warrant Policy’ was adopted by Sarnia council at the May 4, 2015 regular council meeting. A copy of the report and the Council approved policy is attached. Since the passing of this policy, City staff have dealt directly with a representative of the Chatham-Kent Lambton Administration School Services (CLASS) on crossing guard matters.

CLASS is the consortium responsible for the safe transportation of students for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board (SCCDSB) and the Lambton-Kent district School Board (LKDSB). They have also identified themselves through correspondence that they are the contact for both boards with respect to crossing guard requests. City staff has dealt with representatives of CLASS for many years on bussing, parking and school access issues.

A requirement of the Crossing Guard Policy was for staff to conduct an annual survey of each road crossing to identify the number of children crossing, a GAP analysis (which reviews if there are safe times or gaps in traffic for children to cross the road) and a review of the sites for any deficiencies to signs, road markings, sightline issues or tripping hazards. Each crossing is surveyed on different days and each scheduled time (morning-lunch-dismissal) is surveyed. During this review in May-June 2016, staff identified a number of crossings where no children were crossing. Staff reviewed these areas where no children were crossing again in October-November and confirmed the same results.

In December 2016, staff contacted CLASS and Commissionaires and notified them of our findings and provided them a copy of our proposed elimination of these crossing guard times. The representative of CLASS proceeded to contact the appropriate school principals and City staff was copied on these notifications. City staff identified an error on CLASS’s email to the principals and forwarded a correction directly to all principals in the original email.

As CLASS identified themselves to City staff as the representatives of both School Boards, they would be responsible to ensure their notification protocol and procedures were followed. With CLASS contacting the school principals in which City staff were copied, this notification fulfilled the City’s Crossing Guard policy requirement.

On page 11 of the City Council approved ‘School Crossing Guard Warrant Policy’ it states:

“Prior to the staff report being prepared, the school principal would be notified of the findings of the warrant review and the recommendation of the City to remove the crossing guard. It will be the responsibility of the school principal to ensure that the parents are notified of the intent to the City to remove the crossing guard”

Further, it is highly recommended that in the future, to avoid misunderstanding in the public realm, that individuals take the time to read the approved policies adopted by City Council and speak to the staff members and seek clarification and verification of factual information, prior to making any comments. Staff by default follow Council approved policy and procedure.

Attachment: May 4, 2015 Council Report

This article was posted Wednesday, January 18, 2017 2:45 PM

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